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Austin Police ram vehicle that drove through active crash scene
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Austin Police ram vehicle that drove through active crash scene Pa. transportation funding panel readies $15.6B package with mileage-based fee SRAM opens TIME pedal factory in Portugal Biden wants U.S automakers to pledge 40% electric vehicles by 2030 -sources N.Y.’s Transit System Could Receive $10 Billion in Infrastructure Deal 2022 Subaru BRZ Starts Just Under $29,000 Review: The best bicycle tyre inflators to use with an air compressor Ex-Toyota Europe CEO van Zyl dies at age 63 CPS transportation exec on leave after contentious busing plan rollout Here’s How To Import A Japanese Car To America Without Hassle
Jun
2021
28

Why Cities Should Ban Cars, According to Science

Brakelights come on as vehicles head east out of Los Angeles on the Interstate 10 freeway in Alhambra, California on May 27, 2021, ahead of the Memorial Day weekend.

Brakelights come on as vehicles head east out of Los Angeles on the Interstate 10 freeway in Alhambra, California on May 27, 2021, ahead of the Memorial Day weekend.
Photo: Frederic J. Brown (Getty Images)

New research shows we have to start getting cars off the road—and fast—if we want to avoid cities being overrun by gridlock.

In the study published in the journal Open Science on Tuesday, researchers modeled city residents’ personal decisions of how to travel across a town. Understanding how cars affect cities and commute times is of vital importance, both for the sake of the climate—transportation is the biggest share of U.S. emissions and a growing chunk globally—and quality of life.

Right now, more than 80 million cars are produced worldwide each year. Absurdly, that means they’re increasing as fast as the global population. A bipartisan group of senators and President Joe Biden also just endorsed an infrastructure deal with $109 billion for roads and other auto-related infrastructure. While the U.S. admittedly needs some upgrades, doing so could perversely lock in more car use that the new study shows could be a catastrophe.

The researchers modeled the time car trips take, factoring in the baseline length of the trip on empty streets, the time added by other drivers who create traffic, and the time added by the designation of some street lanes for exclusive use by pedestrians, buses, and bikes. They also did the same for public transit, which in the study, includes biking and walking as well.

The model showed a phenomenon anyone who’s driven in a city is surely familiar with: This choice creates an inherent paradox. If more people decide that driving is quicker, there will be more traffic, clogging streets and making trips longer. The longest trips across town, the authors found, were the ones taken when every single resident tries to reduce their commute times by driving, thus creating the most traffic.

The study admits that the models are in some ways reductive. For one, it assumes that city populations are homogeneous and that all residents have equal access to all modes of transport without factoring in things like cost or the inequitable distribution of bike lanes. It also lumps together walking, biking, and all forms of public transit.

“Of course in real life, cycling may take a different length of time than the monorail,” Rafael Prieto Curiel, a postdoctoral researcher at the Mathematical Institute of the University of Oxford and the study’s lead author, said. “But also, let’s be honest, what happens today is that using public transport … can require a bit of other things, like usually a bit of walking or a bit of cycling to the bus.”

But despite its simplistic nature, the model is instructive, showing the logical fallacy of attempting to reduce drive times by increasing the use of cars.

The authors also discuss some ways to reduce the time it takes to get

Apr
2020
8

Report: New Mexico relaxes ban on bike shops

SANTA FE, N.M. (BRAIN) — A local news source is reporting that New Mexico officials have relented and are now allowing bikes shops to operate, under stringent rules, during the state’s COVID-19 response. The state was one of the few remaining in the country where bike service was not allowed to continue under state-wide stay-at-home orders.

The Santa Fe Reporter said the capital city’s mayor reached out to state officials on Wednesday to ask that they clarify whether bike shops could remain open. The Reporter said the governor’s office replied to the mayor and said bike stores can remain open for service but not sales.

Under the new orders, customers can’t enter the bicycle shops, retail sales are banned, payments are to be made by credit card or debit card remotely; customers must leave and pick up bicycles outside the store; and the bikes have to be disinfected before being brought inside. Staff must also wear protective equipment and the stores have to be routinely disinfected,” the governor’s office told the mayor, according to the paper.

Retailers and bike advocates around the state had been lobbying the state to allow bikes shops to stay open without success until Wednesday. The state’s official order on business closures, issued March 23, does not reflect the change. 

Michigan now has the most restrictive state order in place, according to a database maintained by PeopleForBikes. In Michigan retailers are allowed to service bikes only if the bikes are used by workers to get to a job that is considered essential. 

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